Back to top

Literary Cross Dressing and more at Elephant Mountain Literary Festival

The 2018 Writer-in-Residence at the Elephant Mountain Literary Festival, July 12 – 15 in Nelson, is an accomplished writer and a colourful personality. Poet, novelist, non-fiction and children’s author Susan Musgrave offers a talk on the writing craft that promises to be both colourful and illuminating: “Literary Cross-Dressing” takes place on Thursday, July 20 at 7pm at the Nelson Public Library.

“When poetry, prose and creative non-fiction start slipping into one another. Call it cross-genre, mixed genre, blurred boundaries—if you can establish genre lines, then you can cross them,” says Musgrave. Admission is by donation ($5 suggested).

Musgrave will also consult one-on-one with 12 area writers to discuss pre-submitted work. Registration opens June 2, and available spots are expected to fill up fast. Full information and registration is available at

Local colour shone this spring when area book clubs entered a competition for Festival perks. Bent Corner Book Club won for best name, and the Mermaid Book Club took the prize for best anecdote. One of the Festival’s four headlining authors will visit their club.

“It was a tough choice, but in the end the committee chose the Mermaids for the graceful fluidity of the written entry,” says Executive Director Natasha Smith. “Nelson has so many fabulous book clubs. It was great fun to connect with them.”

This year the Elephant Mountain Literary Festival marks its seventh year of showcasing well-known Canadian writers alongside local literary talent. In keeping with this year’s theme of Literary Couples, Musgrave is joined by her husband Stephen Reid. Also appearing are Giller Prize winner Esi Edugyan and novelist and poet Steven Price. The 100-Mile-Opening Gala features Sean Arthur Joyce, Rayya Liebich, and Jordan Mounteer (replacing Jordan Abel). Saturday panel discussions round out the program.

EMLF is able to maintain its high caliber of programming and its affordable ticket pricing thanks to a variety of funders, and the Festival must constantly seek new sources of support as funding programs change. A Go Fund Me campaign has just been launched, enabling lovers of the literary arts to directly support the Festival.

“It’s a great way to say: this Festival matters,” says Smith. “A donation is a vote of confidence. Plus the perks are great, from a special toast at the Gala, to dinner with the author of your choice, signed books, and more.” To access the Go Fund Me page and for the full Festival schedule go to